I get both sides.  I get the case to keep Rich Rodriguez– I understand the mix of talent and injuries that were huge factors as to why we’re in this mess, and to start over would set the program back further.  And I see the results and I’ve observed the neglected & misguided defense and clearly understand why people think it’s time to move on.

I know there are a lot of you out there that are on the fence.  The lunatic middle.  You understand that a guy has to have a few recruiting classes, there are a few positive signs and of course there’s Denard.  At the same time you can barely watch this team get manhandled by decent opponents.  I think there’s a big camp out there that’s just going to put their trust in Brandon to make the call.   He’s done nothing in the past few months to think that he’s not going to do what’s best for Michigan.

I’m no longer on the fence but I understand.  I’ve stated here that you don’t get thirdsies on defensive coordinator (I think that should be in the next contract.  Twosies maybe).  If I’m Dave Brandon we bring in a new coach. 

Having been somewhat close to the program for the past few years I really like these players and they seem to love Rodriguez.   No one seems to doubt what he’s doing, they are behind him and they are playing hard.  So if he returns I’m behind them and if he turns it around, won’t it be fine? 

One thing that isn’t a factor is the salary money.  I laughed when people suggested that Charlie Weis’s contract would make the Irish think twice about letting him go.  Ha!  I just laughed again.   No one is waiting until January to save a few bucks in buy-out money.  If Brandon lets Rodriguez go they will work something out.  As I understand it, to the letter of the contract, Michigan can still let Rodriguez go “with cause” thanks to the NCAA major violations and pay him nothing–but I don’t think that’ll happen.  And keep in mind that Rodriguez would have an interest to move on and interview for the one of the openings in the next few weeks if the two agree to part ways.  There would be a settlement.

On the other side, if a new coach is brought in the salary won’t be a limitation, at least vis a vis other college programs.  I’ve heard Cowherd argue that Michigan doesn’t pay compared to other college programs.  The concept that it is “compensation enough” to be the coach at Michigan doesn’t apply any longer especially when there are suites to fill.  Brandon will pay whatever it takes and I trust him to make the right call.

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17 Comments

  1. Regarding thirdsies on a defensive coordinator: it took Harbaugh fourthsies to get a defense that ranked about #75 nationally. He had 1 DC his first year, and 2 co-DC his 2nd and 3rd years, before getting Fangio from his brother and the Ravens this season. They made a 60 place jump in total defense rankings this season under their new, first-year DC.

  2. Harbaugh had a signature win over USC in his first year. What is Rich Rod's signature win at Michigan? hmm, the miracle comeback win over a Wisconsin team that finished 7-6.

  3. As little confidence I have in him fixing the defense, I do think the fair thing to do is give Rich Rod one more season. As disappointing as the last 3 seasons have been for the fans, the people I feel the worst for are the players. They didn't sign up for our idea of Michigan football. They signed up for Rich Rod's vision of Michigan footbal. So I feel they deserve the right to fight for his job in a fourth season. I do, however, think Rich Rod needs to adapt his defense to playing in the Big Ten by giving up on the 3-3-5, put his friendships aside (in regards to the staff) and change his defensive recruiting philosophy. Like everyone else, I'm unhappy with our program right now. But just like any hiring, if a firing is going to occur I want to be as close to 100% in getting it right.

    • Greg from MVictors
      Greg from MVictors

      I don't know what Brandon is up to right now, but I'm guessing it includes a meeting with Rich Rod where he's asked RR to spell out what's going to change. If it doesn't sounds a lot like you say, he's gotta go

  4. GD, I am with you buddy. In RR three seasons, we haven't played well against a good opponent yet, what is really going to change next year?

    I will endorse RR if we can hire Rex Ryan to coach our D and Mike Westhoff to coach or Special Teams. If we do that, I am solid.

  5. I love watching the offense and we all feel the same way about the defense, but it is time for Rod to go. Every year we experience some sort of embarrassment which surrounds this guy. I do not feel this type of behavior or experiences will leave unless he leaves. I do feel bad for the players and feel bad for the coaches, but enough is enough and lets us see a light in our tunnel.

  6. U of M must do the following. (1.) Rodriguez needs to be fired by the University. (2.) Michigan needs to seek a very qualified and experienced head coach from the National Football League (NFL) who has had experience with both Professional and College Football games and would be able to provide the right connections for talented athletes as far as recruiting. The up and coming stars will be more attracted to U of M if the head coach is connected well. (3.) Create a list and narrow it down. Jim Harbaugh who is a future Hall of Famer for the Chicago Bears and was their all time passing yards quarterback and was U of M's greatest quarterback is a dead on match. Not only has he coached top programs like Stanford but he was also head coach for three years of the San Diego Chargers, Quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders and played for the Chicago Bears, San Diego Chargers, and was with the Detroit Lions for a year. Harbaugh would reestablish the credibility right away.

    • Umm, Jim Harbaugh as future Hall of Famer (no), all time passing yards for the Bears (false), head coach of the Chargers (lol, when was that?),

  7. James F. Epperson

    I'm not happy w/ the last three years, but I think he should get a fourth year. As a practical matter, this was a team of freshman and sophomores—he should get a chance to play with upper-classmen he recruited.

    Suppose Warren had not gone to the NFL and Woolfolk had not been hurt. In that case the D would have been a lot better and the team would have accordingly done better. Are we even having this conversation then? Is it right to fire him because of players lost to the NFL and to injury?

  8. Calvin Magee interviewed at Florida today. Another hint that Rich Rod is soon to be gone.

  9. Maybe David Brandon's job needs to be evaluated. Are you telling me you need to wait another month to evaluate this mess. I guess fighting Purdue and Indiana for last place every year is progress. So in 3 years under Richie, we have managed to beat Indiana twice, Wisconsin (lucky comeback at that), Purdue and Illinois once and all of those we could have easily lost. EVALUATE THAT!

  10. Wow, I didn't know that about McGee interviewing at Florida. That is VERY probative. Here's why. Everyone (in Michigan) has forgotten about the NCAA's pending charges against WVU and RR. They're essentially the same (too-many-coaches, too-much-practice) with one difference: they charge that RR was TOLD by his Compliance Dept that he was violating rules, and he KEPT on doing it. That's what's called a KNOWING violation. (It would, in the real world, also undermine RR's silly claims of "I didn't know" in the UM case, if the NCAA process — wacky as it is — didn't forbid past events at WVU from being evidence in the UM case.) Here's the point: McGee is a WVU guy — he knows what the insiders at WVU are saying about the NCAA case, which is that both WVU and RR are going to get sanctioned. RR's a goner (DB knows all this) and Brandon's just playing it out the best he can before axing RR.

  11. One player–Denard Robinson, and he is great–does not an offense make! and we don't even have a defense. Possible NCAA violations, a quick escape from problems in WV three years ago, and barely an improvement in three seasons . . . this is not what we want for our University! He needs to go and he needs to go now! Hire someone worthy of the University of Michigan that I graduated from!